ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on Thursday barred Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry from attending the ongoing Senate session over his failure to tender an apology to the upper house. Over the past month, the information minister and opposition members have clashed bitterly in the parliament over the former’s invective, forcing the latter to demand an apology, and briefly boycott the session. After the Senate session began today, the opposition reiterated their demand for Chaudhry to apologise, with opposition leader Raja Zafarul Haq telling Sanjrani: “There has been a lot of bad blood in
the house and it is affecting the house’s pride. “We do not have any other solution to this than just walk out. Until an apology is tendered, the rest is all meaningless.” Senator Hasil Bizenjo was more assertive with the opposition’s demand, saying: “Until this person comes here and asks the entire parliament for an apology, the opposition will not [attend].” Leader of the House Shibli Faraz suggested that the record of Chaudhry and Senator Mushahidullah Khan’s statements be analyzed by a committee, and offered an apology on his fellow PTI leader’s behalf. Subsequently, the opposition staged a walkout, following which Chairman Sanjrani gave a ruling, directing Chaudhry to tender an apology. PPP Senator Sherry Rehman concurred with her fellow opposition members, telling the Senate chair that “if the information minister thinks he can insult your [position]then we will not tolerate this and we will boycott the session”. Imran Khan’s message Following the imposition of ban on Chaudhry from attending the Senate session earlier in the day, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak went to meet Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani in the evening. Khattak had brought a special message from the PM and both the leaders deliberated over devising a strategy to conduct the Upper House’s session based on mutual understanding.